The first mirrorless cameras debuted approximately 10 years ago, delivering the flexibility of an interchangeable lens camera, but in a (generally) compact form-factor. However, the early generations lag behind their DSLR cousins, hindered by performance issues like slow autofocusing.
Fast-forward to 2016: Mirrorless cameras have changed the game. Not only are they as strong as DSLRs, if you look at certain reports, they are outperforming in sales as well. For the customer, this means there are far more appealing options than before. Whether you’re looking for something that’s strong enough for studio work, or compact enough for travel, many will fit the bill. But here are our current favorites.
Why should you buy this: An all-around, feature-rich camera with strong performance
Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a compact, versatile camera that performs like a champ
How much will it cost: $1,000 (body only)
Why we picked the Sony A6300:
The A6000-series is one of the most popular mirrorless cameras, and there’s a good reason for that. The 24.2-megapixel A6300’s body is very compact, yet Sony packed every square inch with high-end features. For $1,000, you’re getting a lot of camera for your buck. It’s so versatile that it should satisfy photographers of every level, from casual users to advanced amateurs and even professionals.
The A6300 is a speedy camera. It has really fast autofocusing and burst shooting. In our experience we had no issues grabbing focus or capturing action shots. It supports Wi-Fi, so you can upload high-quality shots to Instagram or Facebook, and it not only supports 4K video, but it includes professional-level tools like time codes, S-Gamut/S-Log for post-production work, as well as a mic input. The A6300 is ideal for budding YouTubers, but we think it makes a good C or even B camera for filmmaking. It even has a built-in viewfinder – something many camera makers sacrifice in order to keep things compact. And, the A6300 supports Sony’s full line of E-mount glass.
Sony’a A6000-series is a well-rounded family of cameras, and the A6300 is an excellent buy for the price. We wish Sony included a touchscreen display and in-camera stabilization, but nonetheless, it’s a highly sophisticated camera. Only very demanding pros may find the APS-C sensor limiting, but it is capable for most photographers. But watch this space: Sony recently announced the A6500, which uses a faster processor and offers five-axis image stabilization. The A6500 could take the top stop from its sibling.